Daniel Zaring, Jr., was born December 30, 1839, in Ohio, and in 1844 accompanied his parents to Putnam county, Indiana, growing to maturity on the home farm in Washington township, where he developed those sterling traits of character which so greatly tended to his success in after life. He was reared in agricultural pursuits, assisted in the cultivation of the family homestead until attaining his majority, when he married and entered upon his own career, choosing for his wife Lucinda Lewis, who was born December 24, 1831, and to whom he was united in the bonds of wedlock in November, 1860. Mrs. Zaring was a native of Putnam county and a daughter of Abram Lewis, who moved to this county from North Carolina in an early day and settled east of Reeseville, on the farm adjacent to Walnut creek, now owned by Lycurgus Stoner. He was one of the early pioneers of that locality and his name appears as a juryman at the first term of court held in Putnam county. He cleared and improved a good farm, lived an exemplary life and died a number of years ago at an advanced age.
After their marriage Daniel Zaring and wife began housekeeping on a farm belonging to his father, but some years later he removed to what is known as the Athey farm, where the first term of court was held, remaining on the latter place for about five years. At the expiration of that period he moved to the farm on Deer creek which his father afterwards deeded to him, the improvement at the time he took possession consisting of an old house and about thirty acres of cleared land. With his characteristic energy he addressed himself to the task of further developing the place and it was not long until he had one of the finest and most valuable farms in his section of the country. Among the improvements which he added from time to time was the large and comfortable residence erected in 1870, and which is still one of the best edifices of the kind in the community, also a fine barn and other buildings, which greatly enhanced the value of the place and made it one of the most desirable homes in that part of the county.
Mr. Zaring's farm originally consisted of one hundred and sixty acres, but by additional purchases it was afterwards increased to three hundred and fifty acres, about two hundred being bottom land of great fertility, the old farm being owned by his son, Lewis Zaring. For several years he and his son Lewis carried on farming and the livestock business as partners, making a specialty of high-grade cattle. Mr. Zaring was always an enterprising, wide-awake man and manifested a lively interest in his business affairs as long as he lived, retaining possession of his farm to the day of his death. He was essentially a home man, great lover of his family and made every other consideration subordinate to his children's interests, taking little part in politics beyond voting the Democratic ticket and having no ambition whatever for official preferment. In the management of his affairs he was prompt and methodical, not given to speculation, but satisfied with legitimate and gradual gains. Mr. Zaring died on the 20th day of September, 1895, at the village of Manhattan, his wife passing to her reward on March 25, 1901.
The family of this worthy couple consisted of four children, the oldest being Lewis A., a sketch of whom appears elsewhere. Clinton Thomas Zaring. M. D., of Greencastle, one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Putnam county, is the second in order of birth, the third being Clara May, who died unmarried at the age of thirty-eight. She was an accomplished stenographer and for a number of years held important positions in various offices in the city of Indianapolis. Musa D., the youngest of the family, became the wife of Ernest Stoner, of Greencastle, Indiana, and died at Manhattan two years after her marriage.
"Weiks History of Putnam County Indiana" by Jesse W. Weik. 1910
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
GONSALVO CORDOVA SMYTHE
Gonsalvo Cordova Smythe, A. M., M. D., was born on a farm three miles east of Greencastle, Indiana, October 31, 1836. His parents, Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Sill) Smythe, were natives of Kentucky who emigrated to Indiana soon after their marriage in 1827. Doctor Smythe was the fifth child in the family, there being in all nine children. One of his sisters, Hannah Rosanna, was the wife of John Clark Ridpath, the historian. Ebenezer Smythe, the father, though a poor man, was especially well educated for the times. He was a voracious and inordinate reader and remarkably well informed as to the facts of history and the philosophy of literature. Although the mother's early advantages were meager, she was nevertheless a woman of decided natural ability and loyally joined her husband in the determination to provide their children with the best facilities for education the times and their surroundings afforded. The opportunities offered, however, were at first only those of the regulation district schools of that period and in these the methods employed were far from adequate in producing the best results. Doctor Smythe's experience in the backwoods school was somewhat novel. At the age of fifteen he became impatient at his slow progress in school and laid the fault to the "class system," which he conceived really restrained him. He therefore asked for and secured from the teacher a mitigation of the rule and was granted the privilege of studying and mastering his lessons in his own way. The result justified the wisdom of the concession, for his progress from this time forward was both easy and rapid. Meanwhile there were alterations of labor. Before his sixteenth year he was chopping wood for fifty cents a cord and later employed by his father, a contractor on the line of the Terse Haute & Indianapolis railroad to blast rock, a work in which he was very successful and of which he was inordinately fond. There was something in the big reports made by the "giant" powder which especially pleased him and he continued at the work on his own account on the lines of other neighboring railroads. At the age of seventeen he engaged in teaching school, thus laying up a little money for the exigencies of the future. Soon afterward he made up his mind to finish his education by a course in college and accordingly, in the fall of 1855, he entered the sophomore class in Asbury University at Greencastle. He lived at home and walked in to college every morning, a distance of three miles. His brother, Ulysses, was also in college at the same time. As a student Doctor Smythe was noted for his clear vision, industry and close reasoning powers. He was very proficient in mathematics, with a decided leaning toward the investigation of scientific subjects. The physical sciences were especially attractive to him. In 1856 his college course came to an abrupt end due to the famous rebellion, during the administration of Doctor Curry, president of Asbury University. Along with others, Doctor Smythe left and never returned to the institution. Having always been drawn to the study of medicine, he determined now to prepare himself for that profession and, to that end, entered the office of Dr. William C. Hopwood, a physician in the village of Fillmore, where he was a diligent and observing student for almost three years. In the fall of 1839 he attended his first course of lectures at Rush Medical College in Chicago. In the summer of 1850 he entered upon the practice in Fillmore and from the first impressed all those with whom he came in contact with his skill and qualifications for the profession he had chosen. A few months before February 28th he was married to Margaret A. Allen, a young lady who lived in the neighborhood and who had been one of his schoolmates in the days of the district school.
The Civil war having broken out, Doctor Smythe offered his services, which were accepted, and in August, 1862, he was duly appointed assistant surgeon of the Forty-third Regiment, Indiana Volunteers. He remained in the services until the close of the war in 1865, being promoted to surgeon of the regiment and finally surgeon of a military division. His experience as an army surgeon in the field and in the hospitals was of incalculable benefit and was the basis of his subsequent extended reputation as a surgeon. After returning from the army, Doctor Smythe located in Greencastle and formed a partnership with Dr. Hamilton E. Ellis, who also had been an army surgeon. This partnership continued till the death of Doctor Ellis in 1880.
From the time of his return from the army Doctor Smythe had constantly risen in reputation not only in medical circles but in the estimation of the general public. His rise in usefulness and influence was effected in the face of many and serious discouragements. One of these was the death of his wife, February 10, 1870. Soon after he went to New York and there completed a course of special study in Long Island Hospital Medical College, graduating therefrom with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, ad eundem. Returning to Greencastle, his services were more than ever in demand and his ability and skill as one of the leading physicians and surgeons in central Indiana were everywhere recognized. In January, 1872, he was married to Janie Frances Black, of Greencastle; but his wife soon developed symptoms of tuberculosis and was carried off by that fatal malady November 14, 1874. In 1876, February 17, Doctor Smythe was a third time married. His wife was Jennie, the daughter of McCamey Hartley, Esq., who was an early business man in Greencastle, and also filled the office of auditor of Putnam county. Three children blessed this union, Rosanna, who died July 8, I887; Winona, who died August 13, 1896, and Arta, who is now the wife of Morton Diall, superintendent of the Gas and Electric Light Company of Lockport, New York.
Doctor Smythe was a frequent contributor to the leading medical journals ant1 magazines of the day. Among his principal contributions were: "A Plea for Practical Anatomy," an article which was largely instrumental in securing the passage of a law by the Legislature of Indiana for the legal dissection of human bodies; "The Antipyretic Treatment of Typhoid Fever"; "A Dermoid Cyst in the Lung," and "The Treatment of Sciatica by the Hyperdemic Injection of Atropia", a paper which was translated into French and German, and then unwittingly retranslated into English as an authority. In 1879 Doctor Smythe was elected to a chair in the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons of Indianapolis and assigned to the chair of the practice of medicine and sanitary science and at once demonstrated his ability as an instructor. His lectures were at once profound and popular. During the summer of 1880 he issued his first medical work, entitled, "Medical Heresies Historically Considered: A Series of Critical Essays on the Origin or the Evolution of Sectarian Medicine". The subject was of such nature as to involve a review of homeopathy and that theory of medicine has rarely been more ably or severely handled than in Doctor Smythe's masterly treatise. The book received an extensive notice at the hands of medical men everywhere and excited not a little discussion and criticism.
As the years rolled by Doctor Smythe's reputation as a physician and surgeon broadened until he was easily one of the leading practitioners in the state. As a surgeon he had few equals and some of the operations he performed are even yet regarded as wonders of skill and precision. But the constant and unremitting attention to his patients and his anxiety to do all in his power to alleviate suffering humanity began to tell on him. He denied himself the luxury of vacations and applied himself to his tasks with such concentration and zeal that his health at last broke under the strain, and, after a brief illness, he died February 7, 1897.
In every respect Doctor Smythe was a remarkable man, and in the line of his profession eminently successful. He was emphatically a man of nerve whom no responsibility could appeal. Under all circumstances he was cool, prudent and self-confident. His judgment never forsook him and his penetration was rarely at fault. He was in every sense a physician, a mall of one work, ardently devoted to the duties of his profession. He was generous minded and liberal of view. Although apparently brusque in manner, he was in reality tender at heart, patient and sympathetic. A man of innate modesty, he rarely ever dwelt upon his own achievements. A stranger to diplomacy, he could not flatter or deceive. In every emergency he was a plain, tolerant and unaffected gentleman, the corner stone of whose religion was relieving the distress of his fellow men.
"Weiks History of Putnam County Indiana" by Jesse W. Weik. 1910
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
CAPT. HENRY BASCOM MARTIN.
The distinction of being the oldest native of Cloverdale township now residing therein belongs to Capt. Henry B. Martin, an honored and revered resident of the attractive little town of Cloverdale. Not only has his private life been one of probity and integrity, but he has also a military record of which he has just reason to be proud, having given to his country several years of effective and appreciated service during the period of its greatest need. He is now living in honorable retirement at Cloverdale, secure in the love and esteem of all who know him, and his friends are legion.
Henry Bascom Martin was born in Cloverdale township, Putnam county, Indiana, July 16, 1833. and is a son of Robert and Lucy (Routte) Martin. The paternal grandfather was William Martin, a Methodist preacher who was born and reared in Virginia, his birth having taken place during the war of the Revolution. His father, John Martin, was a soldier in that memorable struggle who served during nearly the whole period of the war, and near its close sent a son, also named John, as a substitute, the latter being present at the surrender of Cornwallis. The subject's mother was a daughter of George and Catherine (Hendricks) Routte. This family came from Virginia and located in Kentucky. Robert Martin was a native of Virginia and in his young boyhood the family removed to Bath county, Kentucky, and subsequently he there met and married Lucy Routte. He and his wife came to Cloverdale township, Putnam county, Indiana, about 1825, and entered a tract of government land two miles southwest of Cloverdale. He first entered two forty-acre tracts, the patents for which were signed by President John Quincy Adams, and he afterwards acquired more land, so that his holdings amounted to two hundred and forty acres. He remained in that locality until 1853, when he moved to the state of Iowa, where he remained until about 1877, when, his wife dying, he returned to Indiana, locating at Greencastle, where his death occurred in 1879. Robert Martin was twice married, his first wife dying in 1851. In about 1854 he married Mrs. Nancy Nosler, whose death occurred in 1877 in Iowa, as above stated. Mr. Martin was the father of ten children, namely: Sally, who died in infancy, Catherine, John S., George R., Henry E., William S., Alethe, Byram, Mary and Robert.
Henry E. Martin remained on the home farm near Cloverdale until about eighteen years old and in the meantime secured a fair education in the common schools of the locality, the school facilities of that day being somewhat meagre as compared with the splendid system of the present day. Later the subject was a student in Cloverdale Seminary, but the major part of his education was received outside the school rooms, as after he had quit the educational institutions mentioned he pursued the study of Latin, Greek and higher mathematics, including surveying. He was employed as an assistant in the survey of the Monon railroad, and after the completion of that work he went to Ohio and used the transit in the preliminary survey of a part of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad. In the spring of 1854 Mr. Martin went to Webster county (now Hamilton county), Iowa, and there followed surveying until the winter of 1859-60. Returning to Putnam county, Indiana, his patriotic spirit was soon stirred by the sounds of the oncoming conflict in the Southland, and when the President's call for volunteers was issued he promptly responded, becoming a member of Company A, Second Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. Prior to this he had organized a company at Cloverdale, but the state's quota had become filled and his company could not be accepted. He then went to Cincinnati with a few of his men and there enlisted. He was mustered into the service as a private, but was afterwards commissioned second lieutenant, the company to which he belonged being assigned to the Kentucky regiment. About July 9, 1861, the command was sent to West Virginia, and four days later they were engaged in the Battle of Barboursville, where the subject was severely wounded in the right thigh. He was conveyed by an improvised ambulance and boat to the hospital at Gallipolis, where he nearly died from the wound. The hospital was first located in a seminary, and was then moved to a deserted school room, where the subject lay on one of the long desks. When convalescent he was sent home on sick leave and for some time went about on crutches. In the latter part of the following October he rejoined his regiment along the Kanawha river above Charleston. The next battle in which the Second Regiment participated was the great struggle at Shiloh. They arrived there on Sunday, as a part of Nelson's division, and were engaged all day Monday until the defeat of the enemy. Later they took part in the siege of Corinth and the many skirmishes incident to that campaign. In the spring of 1862, before the battle of Shiloh, Second Lieutenant Martin became a first lieutenant. After the siege of Corinth, the Second Regiment marched with the army through Mississippi and Alabama, under the command of General Buell. They then marched to Louisville, Kentucky, and chased the Confederate General Bragg away from there and followed him to Perryville, where there was a bloody fight. The regiment then went to Nashville, where they remained until mid-winter. Then followed the terrific engagement at Stone River, where the soldiers endured severe privations, being compelled to sleep in the open air on the battlefield and for forty-eight hours they had nothing to eat but a few crackers. The army then occupied Murfreesborough, and were soon afterwards engaged in the battle of Chickamauga, where Lieutenant Martin was severely wounded, his wrist bone being shattered by a minie ball. Because of this wound he was disabled until the following November, and was stationed at Bridgeport, not participating with his regiment in the protection of the lines of communication. He then started with Sherman on the celebrated march to Atlanta, but before the end of that campaign his period of service expired. After the battle of Stone River, the subject had been promoted to a captaincy and commanded his company at the battle of Chickamauga. After being mustered out at Cincinnati, Captain Martin was appointed a captain in the Veteran Reserve Corps and was located at Giesboro, near the city of Washington. At this time the death of his father-in-law made it necessary for him to return to his home at Cloverdale. The county was then in a turmoil and the family needed his protection, he having left a wife and infant son when he entered the army.
It should be here noted that while residing in Iowa in the winters of 1857-55 and 1858-59 the subject was a member of the state troops, having been mustered in to assist in protecting the northern part of the state against a threatened massacre of the Indians, who had a short time previously committed terrible depredations among the settlers in that part of the state. The subject was chosen captain of his company and commanded it throughout the campaign.
After his return from the army, Captain Martin as busily employed at farming, the practice of law and surveying, in all of which he gave evidence of his versatile ability. Eventually he moved to Greencastle in order to give his children superior educational advantages. In 1893 Captain Martin and his son Charles established the Greencastle Democrat, one of the strong and influential newspapers of Putnam county. About 1885 he was appointed an examiner of surveys for the United States government, his duties being to examine the land surveys in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. He served in this capacity until the summer of 1889, the latter part of his service being in New Mexico, where he was engaged in examining the boundary lines of Indian reservations. During a part of this time he was alone with, the Indians, among whom were the bloodthirsty Apaches. In 1893 he received a request from the commissioner of the general land office of Washington to go to California as special examiner of the Benson fraudulent land surveys, which he accepted, and was thus engaged, and in general government surveys, until 1893 when he resigned on account of ill health. The appointment came to him wholly unsolicited, and was an exceptional honor, as the Benson fraudulent surveys were of National interest. His services gave eminent satisfaction to the government and he could have continued in the office indefinitely, but ill health compelled him to resign. Captain Martin continued the publication of the Democrat until June, 1897, when it was sold to Hamrick & Ader, after which the Captain went to San Bernardino, California, and, with the assistance of his sons Ernest and Edwin and eldest daughter Winifred, established a Democratic newspaper. This enterprise was successful, but the Captain disposed of his interests four years later and returned to Cloverdale, where he is now residing.
While residing in Iowa, Captain Martin became the owner of one thousand acres of splendid farming land, but this was afterwards sold, and he and his wife now own considerable land in Putnam county, near Cloverdale.
On the 21st of October, 1858, Captain Martin was united in marriage with Sydney Victoria Ellen Hart, a daughter of William L. Hart, one of the early and well known settlers of Cloverdale township. To this union have been born nine children, namely: Niles H., who resides on a farm near Cloverdale, married Margaret Young; Charles Lee, who was interested with his father in the Greencastle Democrat, died near the close of the year 1895; Lucy died at the age of two years and three months; William died in infancy; Winifred, who has traveled extensively in Europe, Mexico and Hawaii, is successfully engaged in newspaper work at San Bernardino, California; Margarita is the wife of Merton Brimmer, of Rialto, California, and they have one child, Elizabeth Ellen; Ernest, who is engaged in newspaper work in San Bernardino, California, and is also a writer for the Hearst papers, married Dorothy Cooley, the daughter of a prominent citizen there; Edwin is a printer and resides at Merced, California; Henry B., who is the publisher and editor of the Cloverdale Graphic, married Anna Steinbach, and they have one son, Charles Lee.
Politically Captain Martin is a Democrat and has always taken an active interest in the success of his party. In 1871 he was elected to the lower house of the Legislature and rendered effective service in that body. Fraternally he has been a member of the Masonic order for forty-six years and has served a number of terms as worshipful master of his lodge. He has taken a number of degrees above those of the blue lodge, including those of Knight Templar, being a member of Greencastle Commandery, No. 11. Few men in his section of the county are as widely and favorably known and none stand higher than does he in the confidence and esteem of the public, and in view of his active and eminently creditable career and the influence he has always exercised on the right side of every moral question, it is proper to class him with the representative men of his day and generation in the community honored by his citizenship.
"Weiks History of Putnam County Indiana" by Jesse W. Weik. 1910
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
ALBERT O. LOCKRIDGE.
It is the progressive, wide-awake man of affairs that makes the real history of a community and his influence as a potential factor of the body politic is difficult to estimate. The examples such men furnish of patient purpose and steadfast integrity strongly illustrate what is in the power of each to accomplish, and there is always a full measure of satisfaction in advertising, even in a casual way, to their achievements in advancing the interests of their fellowmen and in giving strength and solidity to the institutions which make so much for the prosperity of the community. Such a man is Albert O. Lockridge, the present popular postmaster of Greencastle, and it is eminently proper that a review of his career be accorded a place among the representative citizens of the city and county in which he resides.
Mr. Lockridge is a native of Putnam county, having been born on a farm near his home city, February 27, 1851. He is the youngest of three sons born to Andrew M. and Elizabeth (Farrow) Lockridge, extended mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume. The other sons, Simpson F. and Alexander H., are also given notice in another part of this work.
Albert O. Lockridge was reared on the parental acres and did his full share of the routine work of the farm. He was educated in the public schools of Greencastle and at Asbury (now DePauw) University, attending the latter institution during the presidency of Bishop Thomas Bowman, for whom he has great admiration. Mr. Lockridge also attended, in 1872, the Indianapolis Commercial College, and during this time was a member of the military organization known as the Commercial Guards, which was often drilled by Gen. Daniel McAuley and was subject to government call.
Mr. Lockridge has been largely interested in agricultural pursuits all his life. He has always been a student of scientific farming and ranks as one of the best informed and most successful farmers and stock raisers in Indiana. For the past twenty years he has lectured before farmers' institutes over Indiana, having addressed institutes in every county in the state, and is perhaps the best known and most influential institute worker in the state, and his services have been in great demand of recent years in this connection.
Mr. Lockridge's beautiful farm, "Hazyview", comprising two hundred and seventy-one acres, and lying six miles northeast of Greencastle, is one of the model farms of Putnam county – indeed, one of the "show places" of the county, and is admired by all.
Mr. Lockridge is a director of the First National Bank of Greencastle, and is influential in the industrial circles of the community. In 1897 he was appointed by Gov. James A. Mount a member of the board of trustees of the Central Hospital for the Insane, located at Indianapolis, and after three years of faithful and commendable service he was re-appointed for three years more, making six years of continuous service. He was appointed postmaster of Greencastle by President Taft, and assumed office March 22, 1910. He is a member of the College Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, being a trustee of the same. He is especially interested in Sunday school work and frequently visits over the county, addressing the various Sunday school organizations in behalf of association work.
Mr. Lockridge was married October 9, 1878, to Jessie Francis Birch, daughter of Alpheus Birch, deceased, a prominent woolen manufacturer of Greencastle for many years. The marriage ceremony was solemnized by Bishop Isaac W. Joyce. Mrs. Lockridge was born at Bloomington, Illinois, January 6, 1858. Her grandfather, Henry Ewing Cowgill, was a very prominent physician and influential man in Putnam county a decade ago. He was commissioned by Gov. Oliver P. Morton during the most severe battles of the Civil war to go to the Southland and look after the comforts of the Indiana soldiers at the front.
Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lockridge, Dr. Arthur Birch Lockridge, a practicing physician of Rockville, Indiana, and a graduate of the Indiana Medical College. The daughter, Elizabeth Farrow Lockridge, who is a graduate of the DePauw School of Music, is now teaching music in Kansas City, Missouri, being regarded as a very talented musician.
Mrs. Lockridge is also a member of the College Avenue Methodist Episcopal church. Her home is a model of cheerfulness, refinement and hospitality and she and Mr. Lockridge are frequently hosts to the best people of the county, and they are always pleasant and are kindly disposed to the less fortunate with whom they come in contact.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
JOHN BREWER DeMOTTE, A. M., Ph. D., M. D.
John Brewer DeMotte was born in the village of Waveland, Indiana, August 21, 1848, and died in Greencastle, Indiana, September 1, 1907. His father, who bore the same name, was an itinerant Methodist preacher and he in turn was the son of Rev. Daniel DeMotte, one of the early pillars of Indiana Methodism. His mother was Emily Franklin Payne, whose marriage to John B. DeMotte, the elder, took place September 27, 1842. The mother died in July, 1851; the father, November 30, 1901.
John E. DeMotte, II, the subject of this sketch, attended the common schools of the clay and in whatever village or town he happened to live, for the circuit rider of that period hardly ever spent a second season in the same place. Moving thus from place to place, the boy had the benefit of many changes in instructors. Being a very absorbent as well as observant lad, these transitions from one field to another were not without their good effect.
As a pupil in school, he was equally apt and ambitious. He learned readily - and readily made use of what he had learned. Therein lay the success of his training. In 1860 his father was principal of the Asbury Female Institute, a girls' school in Greencastle, Indiana, and here the son came into contact with the atmosphere of university life. Meanwhile the war came along and, though he was scarcely over fifteen years old, he volunteered and was mustered in as private in Company E, One Hundred and Eighteenth Regiment, Indiana Volunteers. Returning after the expiration of his army service, he soon entered Asbury University. In college he was noted for his clearness of perception, his analytical mind and industrious habits. Along with his studies, he found time to teach certain branches in the preparatory classes. His capacity for work was prodigious. In 1874 he was graduated from the university with honors and the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The next year he joined the faculty of his alma mater with a view to organizing the preparatory school. After remaining in charge of the latter department for severa1 years he was promoted to the chair of physics in the College of Liberal Arts. He had the enthusiasm for investigation and research which all the great savants have had who achieved anything of value in the world of science.
In 1887 Asbury University -his alma mater- conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and six years later the Iowa Central College of Physicians and Surgeons, the degree of Doctor of Medicine. An earnest and profound student of electricity, he was made a life member of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. He carried on a large amount of research work in Cornell, Columbia University of Pennsylvania, Bonn and Heidelberg Universities in Germany. While abroad for study he was a co-worker with Henry Hertz at Bonn University, the discoverer of the Herzeman wave which made possible the discovery of the X-ray.
In the midst of his busy career he found time to devote to music, and at one time organized the Mozart Club of Greencastle, an amateur orchestra of forty pieces and a chorus of one hundred voices. He composed the music of Shelley's "The Cloud." He found diversion in chess playing, this being his only game, although he skated and swam with skill; the year of his death he won a game of chess from the state champion.
In January, 1878, Professor DeMotte married Lelia Laura Washburn, the ceremony being performed in Boston, Massachusetts, by the Rev. J. W. Walker, formerly district superintendent of the Greencastle district of the Methodist Episcopal church, who was studying for the ministry at that time. Miss Washburn was a woman of rare talent, culture and refinement, and the daughter of Gen. H. D. Washburn, who was a noted brigadier-general in the Union army during the Civil war and later was elected to Congress from the fifth congressional district of Indiana, serving two terms under Grant's administration, and still later appointed to the position of surveyor-general of the state of Montana. It was he who commanded the expedition in 1870 and 1871 which discovered and opened Yellowstone Park, Mount Washburn and the Washburn range having been named for him. Mrs. DeMotte was born in Newport, September 13, 1855, and her death occurred in Indianapolis, February 25, 1910. At the time of her death she was president of the Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae Club, regent of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a member of the Woman's Club, the Tuesday Reading Club, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the College Avenue (Greencastle) Methodist Episcopal church and other religious organizations. She was fifty-five years old at the time of her death and she was one of the leaders of the club and social life of Putnam county. Mrs. DeMotte, like her husband, was highly educated and she was always of great assistance to him in his work. She was graduated from DePauw University in the class of 1877, and it was while in school here that she formed an acquaintance with Mr. DeMotte, whom she later married while an art student in Boston. She continued her studies and received the degree of Master of Arts in 1880. She accompanied Professor DeMotte on his travels through Europe in after years and gathered a large collection of rare pieces of foreign furniture, tapestry and art, which were destroyed in a fire which burned Elmwood, their beautiful homestead, several years ago. Mrs. DeMotte's mother, Mrs. Lorena (Johnson) Washburn, lives in Greencastle, and the former's brother, Dr. Aquilla Washburn, lives in Clinton.
To Professor DeMotte and wife two sons were born, both of whom are living. They are, Lawrence Washburn DeMotte, head master in the Army and Navy Preparatory School at Washington, D. C., and John Brewer DeMotte, who is engaged in the real estate business at Tacoma, Washington.
The last eighteen years of Professor DeMotte’s life were spent on the lecture platform, where his life work was accomplished. He lectured in nearly all the lecture courses east of the Rocky Mountains, some times returning to the same course eight or nine years in succession. He was regarded by all who were fortunate enough to hear him as a very able lecturer, entertaining, forceful, always interesting and at times truly eloquent. Of his abilities in this line, an able fellow lecturer makes the following comment: "For more than a dozen years John B. DeMotte was easily the most popular lyceum lecturer on the American platform. He was at the same time one of the most useful and helpful of all platform speakers. I have weighed these words, and utter them with deliberation, and I repeat with emphasis the statement I have made that the most popular American platform speaker of this opening decade of the twentieth century was John B. DeMotte. He manifested such an intense interest in his work, combined with an untiring energy and strong will power that he could almost bring success from failure."
Doctor Hedley writes: "The key to the man lies largely herein; To encourage others; to teach and guide and serve and bless others, was his highest creed and his chiefest purpose. It was his mission. Dr. DeMotte's life was a life of service."
Following is a list of his lectures: "The Harp of the Senses, or the Secret of Character Building," "Python Eggs and the American Boy," "A Plea of Posterity; or the Problem of Heredity," "The Fever of Life." Some of his addresses were, "Success Means Sacrifice," "Potential Energy," "Youth," "Habit," "Tapping on the Window Pane," "Point of View," "A Recipe for Happiness." He was the author of "The Secret of Character Building," published by S. C. Griggs & Company.
He was a member of the Gentleman's Club of Greencastle, Indiana, the Grand Army of the Republic, Franklin Institute and the Indiana Horticultural Society.
Professor DeMotte was regarded as an excellent instructor and was popular with his pupils. Unlike many of his calling who become pedantic, he was essentially a man of the times, broad and liberal in his views and had the courage of his convictions on all the leading public questions and issues upon which men and parties divide. He kept in touch with the trend of modern thought along its various lines and, having been a man of scholarly attainments and refined tastes, his acquaintance with the literature of the world was both general and profound; while his familiarity with the more practical affairs of his day made him feel at ease with all clrtsses and conditions of people with whom he came in contact.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN
WILLIAM H. THORNBURGH.
Before passing from the subject of the early merchants of Greencastle, although not in proper chronological order, we venture to note the name of William H. Thornburgh, without a record of whose career no history of Putnam county could be called complete. No man ever lived who labored more zealously and accomplished more for the prosperity and well-being of the community and the memory of no other person identified with the development of the county is more deserving of perpetuation. A native of Washington county, Virginia, where he was born February 5, 1804, he drifted to Putnam county in the fall of 1824, his first employment here being teaching school for a brief time in the country west of Greencastle. Prior to his removal to Indiana he had, although quite young, been captain of a steamboat plying between Nashville and New Orleans. After the death of his wife, he returned to the river, becoming captain of a steamer in the Louisville and New Orleans trade, but in 1830 he was back in Greencastle again where he soon went into the mercantile business. In 1835 he erected a brick building on the comer of Washington and Indiana streets, the first of its kind in the town. He was a leading and influential member of the Methodist church and took an active part in the erection of the church building on the corner of Indiana and Poplar streets, to which he contributed both time and money, as, also, he did at a later date for the erection of Roberts Chapel. Indeed, there is perhaps no church in the city to which he did not contribute. In 1858 he built the largest edifice in town, known as the Thornburgh block, on the west side of the public square, which was an enterprise of wonderful magnitude for that day and well worthy the admiration and encomiums it called forth. He also built, at the corner of Franklin and Locust streets, a residence which in grandeur and magnificent proportions far surpassed anything of its kind in the county. He was one of the original stockholders and early promoters of the Terre Haute & Richmond (now the Vandalia) railroad, devoting much time in securing the requisite amount of stock in his county. He was one of the earliest trustees of Asbury University, continuing as such with two brief intermissions from 1837 to 1860 and acting as president of the board for four years. On every occasion he lent his influence and energy to the great enterprises which were to be for the public good and such as would develop the industries and enrich the whole country. Possessing the first money safe in the county, Captain Thornburgh's store became, in effect, a bank of deposit, where speculators, merchants and farmers alike found a secure place of keeping their surplus funds. "We of the present day," observes one who knew him well, "with our banks and multiplied facilities of communication, cannot estimate the value of such a man nor can we fully appreciate the amount of confidence which, without deposited security, could intrust so much for safe-keeping, assured of its prompt return when demanded." His career as a merchant covers a space of thirty-one years -the life of a generation. He died October 26, 1876. A public meeting, presided over by the mayor of Greencastle, was held at the court house to arrange for his funeral and appropriate resolutions expressing sorrow for his death and respect for his memory were adopted.
One of the unfortunate things in Captain Thornburgh's life, after his many years of commercial success, was a series of business reverses to which he was forced to yield early in 1861. He suffered so keenly from chagrin and remorse that he issued a statement to the public through the columns of a local paper, which has in it so much of real pathos and evinces a spirit of pride and honor so sensitive and so unusual in these latter days of commercial indifference to public opinion, it will not be without its lesson to reproduce it here. Under date of March 21, 1861, in the Putnam County Banner, he said:
"To My Friends and Fellow Citizens:
"It becomes my painful duty to appear before you through this medium and announce to you that circumstances are and have been such as to require the withdrawal of my name from the list of merchants. I have been for over thirty years among you in that capacity, during which time I have enjoyed the patronage of many among you and the confidence embracing a wide range, which confidence it was my pleasure so to demean myself as to in some measure justly merit. I have during that time passed through many financial storms and had successfully weathered them all till now by a train of circumstances known to most of you through the advice of able financiers and men of unquestioned veracity and wealth I have taken the course now known to most of you - that of retirement from the busy bustle of that long-cherished occupation which it has been my pleasure to pursue. In taking this, my leave, it is not without the deepest feelings of obligation to my creditors and numerous customers who, on the one hand, freely sought my custom and sold me goods at fair prices and dealt with me so kindly, which naturally engendered high social feelings, which I have always prized so highly and which were so reciprocal. To such I shall ever feel the deepest weight of obligation as long as life endures. To my patrons and friends here accept this humble tribute of gratitude to you for your liberal and confiding patronage. During the last thirty years we have greeted each other and enjoyed many pleasant hours which I shall ever kindly remember.
"In taking my leave of you as a merchant, please receive my thanks for your patronage and confidence and I hope in my future I shall do nothing to counteract the good opinion you have been pleased to feel and express. Life is one changing scene and its revolutions I have, with many before me, felt and feel its heavy shaft, but amid all its storms will try to pass the waves as to ultimately outride them all and seek my final port in safety.
The fact that our pioneer merchants demonstrated such enterprise and brought hither, so early, such liberal assortments of goods indicates a rapidly growing population. We may naturally, therefore, expect to find among them the representatives of the various trades, occupations and professions that are essential to the success of any community.
B.F. Bowen & Co., Publishers, Indianapolis IN